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Analysis of Consumer Behavior Quotes

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Analysis of Consumer Behavior quotes
“We surround ourselves with valued material possessions as a matter of our lives taking course. A sense of linkage to the concrete and observable world external to ourselves permits us to obtain a sense of stability and continuity in an otherwise less stable existence”. Discuss

Psychology is important in many aspects of business, not least in the whole area of marketing and advertising. An understanding of the consumer behaviour is an essential part of the psychology of marketing. This essay will firstly give an explanation of consumer behaviour. Following this, it will discuss the benefits of the applications of consumer behaviours. Finally, it will look at the explication of attachment in consumer behaviours in the quote “We surround ourselves with valued material possessions as a matter of our lives taking course; a sense of linkage to the concrete and observable world external to ourselves permits us to obtain a sense of stability and continuity in an otherwise less stable existence.”

Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behaviour is a complex, multi-disciplinary theory contributed from a variety of social sciences. The microeconomic demand theory, the foundation theory of market economy, is focused on what prospect effect the changes in income and price has on demand under the prerequisite of stable preferences; it does not provide explanation of the dynamics of the many factors in between, for instance, what influence income and price changes has on preferences.
The basic forces of consumer behaviours are emotions, motives as well as attitudes. The study of consumer behaviour focuses on these such as why a consumer buys, how a product is perceived, how the buying decision is taken, where and what a consumer wants to buy (Alvensledben, 1997). In a competitive market economy, this knowledge can influence the marketing measures and give a company a competitive edge.
For instance, a research into the consumer motives in food demand may mainly involved aspects like nutritional need, health motive, desirable taste, safety issue, convenience, the conformity effect, environment consideration, and political motives. A special kind of food may be in high demand because of the food scarcity, or serving the function of satisfying certain physiological needs, or the income status and the price elasticity of the food. Consume typology recognizes consumers can be segmented and categorized with regards to health consideration and enjoyment consideration.

The psychological theories in terms of motivation and reward, wants and needs, perception as well as individual differences can be applied in the field of marketing in promoting its efficiency. The theory of consumer behaviour, a combination of psychology and marketing, can be applied from many perspectives.
In Marketing Strategies
Obviously, it is indispensable for marketing strategy design and marketing campaign plans. Almost every aspect requires the knowledge of household/individual consumer behavior (Blundell, 1988).For instance, having realized that consumers are more receptive to food ads when hungry, companies can act upon that and schedule food ads late in the afternoon. For another instance, having realized that newly-launched products are typical tried a small number of customers and then being populated, companies can make marketing strategies by both supplying and reserving enough launching capital to wait for the long cycle as well as pleasing initial customers who will influence the subsequent customers’ brand choices.
In Being a Smarter Consumer
As the second benefit, we can become better and wiser consumer by learning consumer behavior. Common sense tells us that if one buys a larger bottle of laundry detergent, you should pay less. In practice, however, you often pay a size premium by buying the larger quantity. Therefore, knowing this fact will sensitize you to to check the unit cost labels to determine if you are really getting a bargain.
In Social Marketing and Public Polices
Social marketing involves getting ideas across to consumers rather than selling something while in public polices, when the government find the need to suppress the sales of a product which is potentially harmful to the mass consumers, government may draw up certain pubic polices complied with the ideas of consumer behavior. For example, on the package of cigarettes warnings about the health damage cigarettes will bring should be printed mandatorily.

The Concept of Attachment
The dimensions of attachment, integration, individuation and temporal orientation provide very important insight into the concept of attachment. Scholars believe that individuals identify with objects (Belk 1987). For instance, we may feel more connected to certain items yet less so to others. It is commonly understood that we are, more or less, attached to the objects we possess, but what attachment is and where does it come from? This section presents attachment as one of the more prominent aspect of consumer behaviors.

Economics is generally reckoned and understood to accomplish the goal of the maneuver of limited resources. Decisions have been and are making to employ these limited resources. At the end of the day, markets and economy facilitate the fulfilling of demands and needs. These wants and needs are subjectively experienced states of deficiency. Their existence is correlated to the desire for satisfaction and fulfillment. Needs are the result of the interaction of supply and demand as well as the constant shifting nets of social relationships. Attitudes, values, convictions and behavior mode are, in a large sense, planted in social relationships and patterns (Albert, 1998). Either being variable or stable, there are in high dependency on the social context they are grounded into.
The premise of the discussion of consumer behavior or the concept of attachment specifically, is not the stability or rationality of preferences in the market of supply and demand. It is also assumed that the order of preferences has no one-to-one correlation with the product itself, or the influence of the social context. It is integrated result of these two factors influencing together. Either is the sole source. It is a complex interplay. The effects of two cannot be easily separated and distinguished. It is not clear how intrinsic the role of social groupings or marketing measures can play in the activation and triggering of consumer needs.

In the late 1960s, economists came to realized that companies actually find ways to activate and trigger the innate yet undiscovered demands of the consumer. This theory is known as the revised sequence of marketing. It is believed that companies synthesize the demands for consumers. This theory questioned and challenged the traditional view that the consumers have the sovereignty over the generation and production of the buying desire of theirs (Galbraith, 1967).
Many people in the western world have experienced the rising power of the encouragement of consumerism in the previous century. The black hole of desires and needs that cannot be satisfied is, in fact, not in the human nature. Anthropologists have offered academic evidences that human needs are not by nature unlimited. The endless need and the orientation for goods is not a law. It is produced instead of an inherent quality of human beings (Scherhorn, 1992). It is noted that in the economy of the modern world, one part of an organization synthesizes and produces a need, which then becomes the necessity basis for the outlet as well as the facilitator of the sales boom of another part of the organization’s products (Albert, 1972). Some scholars believe that the activation of consumption needs by an organization proves the non-independence of needs from supply (Marx, 1953).
Pure economics can be shortsighted sometimes due to its theoretical isolation (Abert, 1998). It is because of not having taken the contribution of other disciplines such as psychology, social psychological theories in specific. Since the economics about the supply and demand as discussed under the adhoc assumption of stable and non-differentiated individual needs. It is also assumed that those needs are in direct and explicit connection with the multitudinous variety and quantity of combinations of goods. These assumptions isolate the extent of pure economics, making the economic theories incompletely and not desirably applicable when it come to real life situations.

Consumers’ market behavior is a particular instance of individual behavior in social milieu (Albert, 1998). Social psychology is therefore critical in its explanation.
Needs are satisfied and fulfilled in accordance with the patterns of consumer behaviors. It does not suggest of any kinds of stable order of preferences. Consumers’ behavior patterns and habits are formed in a long constant learning process. In various trials and errors of previous buying experience, consumers become more sensitive with a more clear direction in the following buying behaviors. Consumer behavior can be called a success when it can lead to the satisfaction and fulfillment of need under a subjective evaluation. In this way, patterns and habits of buying and consuming are formed and intensified.

Therefore, it should be made clear that the concept of market and consumer behavior also falls into the arena of social science, as opposed to pure economics. Too often, demand is considered an independent factor in the interplay of demand and supply. It has now been argued and analyzed that demand as of great variability rather than stability, and it is in a high dependence with the attitudes, values, habits, convictions and patterns of the consumer.

The object and items surrounding our lives are possessed by us through the act of buying and purchasing. It reflects, more or less, the attitudes, values, habits, convictions and buying patterns of ours. All these things, maybe variable to different persons, are the results and consequences of our conscious choices. It is understandable to say that maybe some of these things become so indispensable to us that they become part of us. We are attached to this kind of things become they define who we are, what our attitudes, values and patterns are. This attachment is not only a defining characteristic of us reflected in the possessions we already have, it will also determine how our future consumer behaviors or behaviors as a whole will be like. The determining quality suggest the continuity of the patterns within us, it creates a relative stability as well.

Therefore, it is true that we connect and link our lives through our possessions. We buy what we like to reflect our personal needs and wants. People often measure themselves and are measured by other people through what they possess, the kind of clothes they wear, their hairstyle, the community they inhabit in etc. In addition, it is not uncommon to set several material goals throughout the course of life. For instance, we promise to buy ourselves or other people certain stuff on the premise that something would be accomplished. That ‘something’ becomes the goal and the measurement of our efforts. The value underlying that ‘something’ is in fact who we are and what we represent and value. Therefore, we chart out self-worth through the products we accumulate to reflect the person we are inside and ultimately what we strive to be conceived as (Schultz et al., 1989)

This essay starts with the introduction of the psychology of marketing. It points out the consumer behavior is vital in understanding the underlying purchasing patterns and psychology. Consumer behaviour is a complex, multi-disciplinary theory contributed from a variety of social sciences. The basic forces of consumer behaviours are emotions, motives as well as attitudes.
Then it proceeds with how this theory of consumer behaviour can be applied and benefited people. It notes that, the knowledge of consumer behaviour can influence the marketing measures and give a company a competitive edge in a competitive market economy. Aside from being helpful and useful in designing marketing strategies, the theory of consumer behaviour is also important in social marketing and public decision making.
Lastly and most importantly, this paper comes to analyse the attachment concept in the consumer behaviour and discuss the effect of possession and consumption. It concludes that we connect and link our lives through our possessions. We are attached to them become they define who we are, what our attitudes, values and patterns are. This attachment is not only a defining characteristic of us reflected in the possessions we already have, it will also determine how our future consumer behaviors or behaviors as a whole will be like. The determining quality suggest the continuity of the patterns within us, it creates a relative stability as well.

Blundell, R. 1998, ‘Consumer Behaviour: Theory and Empirical Evidence—a Survey’, The Economic Journal, vol. 98, no. 389, pp16-65.
Alvensleben, von R. 1997, ‘Consumer Behaviour’, Agro-Food Marketing, New York, CAB International, pp. 209-224.
Belk, R. 1987, ‘Identity and the Relevance of Market, Personal, and Community Objects’, Marketing and Semiotics: New Directions in the Study of Signs for Sale, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 151-164.
Albert, H. 1960. ‘The critical rationalism of Karl Raimund Popper’, Archive for Rights and Social Philosophy, pp. 391-415.
Galbraith, J. K. 1967, The New Industrial State, Boston.
Scherhorn, G. 1983, ‘The utility of consumer good markets’, Market psychology, Volume 1: Market Psychology as a Social Science, pp. 45-150.
Marx, K. 1953, ‘Criticism of Political Economy’.
Schultz, S. E., Kleine, R. E. & Kernan, J. B. 1989, Advances in Consumer Research Volume 16, pp. 359-366.

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